Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Margate, FL

  • Published 2023/03/10

Margate is a small city in Florida that’s mostly known as a residential area near Pompano Beach.

While small, this city in Broward County offers plenty of activities, most of which are free and family-oriented.

This makes Margate a great destination if you’re planning on checking out the marinas and coastal areas of Pompano Beach or even Miami.

It’s also surrounded by other interesting cities that are part of the county, many of which have famous attractions as well.

This city is an underrated destination, so check out this list of free things to do in Margate, Florida, for a glimpse of what it offers.

Go Jogging at Firefighters Park

Going jogging at Firefighters Park is a great way to experience the simplicity and serenity of Margate, known for its waterways and nature areas.

This public city park is spacious and has a couple of jogging trails that are best enjoyed during the early morning—before the Florida heat kicks in.

There’s also a stream along the park which adds a serene charm to the site.

Firefighters Park also has other amenities such as playgrounds, tennis courts, and picnic areas.

Located along Rock Island Road, this park is a great way to kickstart your adventure in Margate.

Bike along Cypress Creek Greenway

If biking is more up your alley, Cypress Creek Greenway is a perfect place to do some cycling, accessible along Rock Island Road.

The best part about Cypress Creek Greenway is it lets you experience the scenic Stranahan River—the most popular tourist attraction in Margate.

Paved with well-maintained greenery, the greenway is a must-try in Margate, as you’ll also cover a lot of ground exploring within the city.

It’s also a great way to see the riverside flora and fauna, so don’t forget to bring your camera during your adventure.

If you’re feeling adventurous, Cypress Creek Greenway is also an eco-friendly way to reach the neighboring city of Tamarac, another underrated city in Florida.

Spot Some Iguanas at Kaye Stevens Park

One thing Florida is famous for is how its wildlife seamlessly integrates with the urban lifestyle of Floridians.

At Kaye Stevens Park, you’ll get to observe this up close, particularly the abundance of iguanas roaming around.

Along Royal Palm Boulevard, this public park provides better access to the waters of the Stranahan River, allowing you to spot a variety of aquatic birds and reptiles like the iguanas.

If you have a fishing rod with you, you can also cast your line at Kaye Stevens Park.

Bring Your Kids to Coral Gate Park

A great destination for families with young children is Coral Gate Park—known for its playing turfs and playgrounds with modern equipment.

Coral Gate Park has everything you would want in a family park—swings, tennis courts, basketball courts, and walking trails.

The park also has a pavilion and several benches for adults who are out to supervise their children as they enjoy all the amenities.

There’s also a small lake right next to the park, a famous fishing spot for the locals of Margate.

Along Coral Lake Drive, this city park is within the bustling commercial areas of Margate which adds convenience to your visit.

Explore the Herman and Dorothy Shooster Nature Preserve

Located along Southwest 64th Terrace is Herman and Dorothy Shooster Nature Preserve, a beautiful sanctuary that doesn’t have any admission charges.

Situated right in the middle of Margate’s residential districts, Herman and Dorothy Shooster Nature Preserve is a small forest-like oasis in Margate.

While it’s only around 20 acres big, there’s a lot to see and take photos of here because of its biodiversity.

The preserve is home to a variety of flora, brimming with trees, shrubberies, and flowers that all play an important role in attracting wildlife to make it their home.

You’ll spot tons of different birds, insects, and small mammals in their natural habitats.

A fantastic way to experience the ecological balance in Florida, Herman and Dorothy Shooster Nature Preserve is a must-visit.

Visit Margate Library

Margate is home to a free library that you can visit to spend some quiet time during your visit to Florida.

Margate Library is conveniently located in the busier sections of Margate.

It has an extensive selection of books, and the comics section is surprisingly robust.

Margate Library also has tons of computers that you can access for free along with a printing service.

Along Park Drive, this public library is a great addition to your itinerary.

Play Sports at Margate Sports Complex

Margate Sports Complex is one of the finest public facilities in the city, located along Banks Road.

It’s famous for its huge baseball fields and is a great place to practice your swings or bond with your family.

There are also tennis courts here and wide grassy fields where you can do some soccer dribbling or toss a football.

Besides that, Margate Sports Complex also has a splash pad where you can beat the Florida heat.

Because dogs are a common sight here, the sports complex is also ideal for fur parents.

Celebrate the Margate Fall Festival

If you’re visiting during late October, don’t miss out on the Margate Fall Festival.

This free-to-enter festival offers a ton of activities and allows you to experience the vibrant community of Margate.

You’ll enjoy Halloween costume competitions, pumpkin carvings, and other family activities like hosting a petting zoo and pony rides.

Food vendors and other merchants also offer all sorts of goodies.

The Margate Fall Festival typically happens at the Margate Sports Complex during the last week of October, so be on the lookout for announcements before you visit.

Go Boating at Legacy Park

When you’re visiting Margate, it’s highly recommended to bring your personal kayak or canoe because the city has tons of waterways.

One of the best spots to launch your boat is Legacy Park, situated right along the Stranahan River along West River Drive.

Legacy Park is surrounded by high-arching trees, so you won’t have to venture far if you want great photos while boating.

It’s also a convenient location as you can start at Legacy Park and end at the nearby Kaye Stevens Park.

If you don’t have any boating equipment, the park is also a great spot to simply sit around and enjoy a late afternoon in the city.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go for a Swim at Lauderdale By The Sea Beach

Colorful beach chairs at Lauderdale By The Sea Beach

Kevin Ruck /

If you want to see the Atlantic Ocean without spending too much time on the road, Lauderdale By The Sea Beach is only a 25-to-35-minute drive from Margate, depending on the time you go.

While not particularly known for its sandy beaches like Miami, Lauderdale By The Sea Beach is still an ideal site if you just want to sunbathe or take scenic photography.

There are loads of areas here where you can hang out, accentuated by a ton of cafes, shops, and other interesting landmarks.

One landmark that’s famous here is a boardwalk that extends out into the ocean, a nice place if you don’t mind spending a couple of dollars.

Hike at Three Mountains Natural Area

Exploring Three Mountains Natural Area is a scenic way to enjoy the Stranahan River, located in the city of Coral Springs, just eight to 10 minutes away from Margate.

The best way to enjoy this small park is to have a nice picnic with friends or family, enjoying the breeze and scenery that the river offers.

As the name suggests, there are also three hilly areas here if you want to do some exploration and hiking.

The hills have tons of trees, so you won’t have to worry about the shade.

You can also see some iguanas here if you’re lucky.

A tranquil spot near Margate, the Three Mountains Natural Area is a great addition to your itinerary for family-bonding activities.

Connect with Nature at Tall Cypress Natural Area

Bird perched on a tree at Tall Cypress Natural Area /

Only a 10-minute drive from Margate, Tall Cypress Natural Area is a must-see free attraction.

It’s a serene sanctuary with many photo opportunities for casual travelers or the more serious wildlife and nature photographers.

One of the best things about Tall Cypress Natural Area is its boardwalk that takes you through its forests.

You’ll find overgrown cypress trees here and an abundance of flowers; all sorts of animals call it home as well.

There are a lot of information boards and interpretive signs found here, making your visit an educational experience perfect for the whole family.

Have a Picnic at Hampton Pines Park

Hampton Pines Park, a 15-minute drive from Margate, is known for its beautiful picnic grounds and tranquil walking trails.

During autumn, Hampton Pines Park receives some of the best foliage in the city of North Lauderdale.

There’s also a small lake here where many locals go fishing or enjoy paddle boating.

A couple of exercise equipment are also available here, along with a children’s playground.

If you want a nearby place to do some light walking while being surrounded by beautiful scenery, Hampton Pines Park is a great option.

See the Beautiful Flora at Fern Forest Nature Center

Boardwalk at Fern Forest Nature Center

Sheri Armstrong /

Another sanctuary you should consider is the Fern Forest Nature Center in the neighboring city of Coconut Creek that’s less than 10 minutes away from Margate.

Fern Forest Nature Center is known for its abundance of ferns.

The place also has a boardwalk that takes you through the abundance of flora found here.

Moss tree at Fern Forest Nature Center

jaimie tuchman /

Information boards are also scattered throughout the place, helping you to learn more about the ecology of Broward County.

The nature center is also known to be the home of a lot of tortoises.

Take in the Ocean Views at North Ocean Park

Only 25 to 30 minutes away from Margate is Pompano Beach’s North Ocean Park.

Pompano Beach is one of the biggest cities in Florida known for its tourism, so any kind of itinerary should capitalize on visiting this bustling city.

There’s a lot to do at North Ocean Park, but simply strolling around and watching the beautiful waves and sandy shores is a special experience.

The cherry on top in this beach is the picturesque lighthouse which makes it a great spot for landscape photography.

Final Thoughts

Margate is a great city to explore if you want to experience the outdoor attractions in Florida.

You’ll easily find tons of nature preserves here that are free to the public, making it one of the most affordable destinations in the Sunshine State.

It’s also strategically situated in the middle of a lot of cities, most prominently Pompano Beach, North Lauderdale, and Coral Springs.

Hence, a trip to the beautiful beaches of Florida won’t require you to spend over 30 minutes on the road.

Make this list of the free things to do in Margate, Florida, your go-to guide when visiting Broward County.

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